MANILA — Former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon on Thursday skipped the Senate panel probe into the PHP6.4-billion shabu shipment from China but issued a waiver that allows his bank accounts to be checked.
In a letter to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, Faeldon said that he will only attend the investigation conducted by a competent court “anytime, anywhere” but only when cases are filed against him.
Faeldon urged lawmakers to file cases against him “so that justice will be served.”
“I strongly urge those senators and congressmen to immediately file the cases against me, and the rest of my kin so justice will be served,” Faeldon said in his letter.
The ex-Commissioner also issued a waiver of the bank secrecy law which allows all government agencies that has the authority to probe allegations against him to look into his bank accounts.
“I hereby authorize the Senate of the Philippines and the House of Representatives and all government agencies in the Philippines that has the authority to investigate allegations of corruption, to examine, inquire or look into all my bank accounts here in the Philippines and even anywhere in the world,” Faeldon said in his waiver dated Sept. 6, 2017.
He said that although he continues to have the highest respect for the Senate as an institution, he no longer had faith in the impartiality of some of its members who “maligned” him.
However, the ex-Commissioner did not name the senators he was referring to.
In a Senate hearing on August 15, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV questioned Faeldon about the existence of corruption in his bureau. Faeldon refused to answer noting that Trillanes had already accused him of being “at the heart” of smuggling shabu into the country.
Faeldon turned emotional stressing that it was “pointless” to answer the senator’s questions because he had already been judged.
On August 23, Senator Panfilo Lacson made a privilege speech claiming Faeldon received some PHP100-million “pasalubong” at the Bureau of Customs. Faeldon has strongly denied this.
“I have the highest respect for the Senate as an institution that is why I attended the hearings even with just an invitation hoping that my side will also be heard. However, after two hearings I was not given a chance to fully explain my side,” Faeldon said.
Faeldon said that he did not mean to defy the Senate but refusing to attend the hearing was his way of “protesting” against “baseless accusations.”
He, meanwhile, expressed hope in pursuing the clarification of the limitations of what can and cannot be said by both houses during privilege speeches and what can and cannot be done during house inquiries.
Senator Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, described Faeldon’s remark as “contemptuous.”
Senator Panfilo Lacson, meanwhile, suggested that Faeldon’s letter and waiver could be taken up in an executive session. PNA-northboundasia.com